Thursday, June 27, 2013

■ NIGERIA: Abuja finalizes plans for new carrier "Nigeria One" as Aer Lingus refutes claims of leasing deal with government.

NigeriaThe Nigerian Government , through its Aviation Ministry, has now completed plans to float a new national carrier to be named Nigeria One (not National One as previously reported).

Nigeria Airways DC10
Nigeria Airways DC10 (J Wheatley)
According to plans revealed by Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, Nigeria One will be formed through the amalgamation of the assets of all the domestic carriers that are heavily indebted to AMCON which include AeroContractors (AJ), Chanchangi Airlines (5B) and Arik Air (W3).

AMCON took over Aero Contractors in September 2012 at the behest of the Nigerian Central Bank over debts estimated to be USD200million.

No comment as yet from any of the carriers has been received as to their positions on this new development.

Meanwhile, Irish carrier, Aer Lingus (EI), has refuted claims it is involved with the Nigerian government's Aviation Intervention Fund, an aircraft sourcing initiative set up by Abuja to help Nigerian airlines access aircraft at more competitive rates. Reports in the Nigerian press had claimed Nigerian aviation officials had appointed Aer Lingus as the aircraft lessor for Nigeria's carriers with Irish representatives having allegedly travelled to West Africa for talks with the Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

However, industry analysts have speculated about to a possible collaboration with Aldus Aviation, another Irish aircraft leasing firm specializing in African operations, who were last year contracted by the African Development Bank to set up the Aldus Aircraft Africa (AAA) Leasing Project. The AAALP will see the AfDB placing 12 Embraer Regional Jets in seven African airlines via a leasing facility based in South Africa.

Thanks to Patrick Edmund.